Tuesday, September 27, 2011

English Premier League Team of the Week : Gameweek 6

Editorial | Premier League Team of the Week |

The real winners - in terms of the title race - from the last round of Premier League fixtures had to be anyone but Manchester United. The Red Devils perfect start to the season came to an end at Stoke in a 1-1 draw while their rivals including Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all won their respective games.

We've gone with a 4-4-2 formation once again.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)

This is now the second week running that Manchester United's David de Gea gets into our best XI although he had to beat off tough competition from Bolton Wanderers' stopper Jussi Jaaskelainen to get there. The Red Devils keeper looked a little tentative when dealing with high balls during United's 1-1 draw with Stoke - although most keepers will face similar difficulties against Tony Pulis' side - but he made two exceptional saves to deny Andy Wilkinson and Jon Walters certain goals. It helped United earn a point from their travels while the same cannot be said for Jaaskelainen who made countless saves against Arsenal but still conceded three goals and the game.

Defender: Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea)

Maybe it was just a language barrier because Jose Bosingwa looks a different player under countryman Andre Villas-Boas than under Chelsea’s previous Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti. The Portuguese full-back was signed for £16.3million by Luiz Felipe Scolari back in 2008 but he has failed to live up to his price tag since the Brazilian coach left. However, Bosingwa has been one of Chelsea's most consistent performers in the new Villas-Boas era including at the weekend against Swansea. His clearance off the line from an Ashley Williams' attempt at goal was particularly pleasing and helped the Blues to a 4-1 win over their Welsh opponents.

Defender: Sylvain Distin (Everton)

Sylvain Distin produced a wonderful display of defending for Everton against the galaxy of stars at Manchester City. For over an hour, Distin and Everton frustrated the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko before substitute Mario Balotelli's shot deflected into the goal to break the deadlock for City.

Defender: Brede Hangeland (Fulham)

Brede Hangeland is the type of defender you want in your team when faced with the struggles of Barclays Premier League survival. He's a strong physical presence at nearly two meters tall and his signature Scandinavian calmness while under pressure makes him an invaluable asset for struggling Fulham. It was his marshalling of the Fulham back-line which earned the Cottagers a point in a goalless game at West Brom.

Defender: Jose Enrique (Liverpool)

At just £6 million, the signing of Jose Enrique appears to be real good piece of business done by Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool side. Left-back has been a real problem position for the Reds over the last few years but Enrique might just be the answer. He played an influential role in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Wolves and also provided the ball for Luis Suarez's wonder goal.

Midfielder: Nani (Manchester United)

Another cracking goal to savour from the Portuguese winger this week, unfortunately it was not enough to inspire Manchester United to a victory against Stoke like it did against Chelsea over a week ago. United took the lead in the 27th minute when Nani played a one-two with Darren Fletcher before clipping the ball past Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal. An injured Wayne Rooney watched from the sidelines and wrote on Twitter: "Nani. World class get in."

Midfielder: Ramires (Chelsea)

Did we witness a defining moment for Ramires at the weekend? The Brazilian midfielder had his detractors at Chelsea last season but he put in a man-of-the-match performance for the Blues as they crushed Swansea 4-1. We all know Ramires works hard for his team but Chelsea fans must have been pleasantly surprised to see just how much of their flowing football against Swansea went through Ramires. He even added a couple of goals to underline his growing importance in new manager Andre Villas-Boas' Chelsea team.

Midfielder: Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Tottenham suddenly look like top four contenders in the Barclays Premier League and that's in no small part down to the arrival of Scott Parker at White Hart Lane. The score line may read Wigan 1-2 Tottenham but it hardly tells the full story of a Spurs win manufactured straight from their midfield department. Harry Redknapp's men completed over 600 passes during the game with Parker starring as their midfield general.

Midfielder: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

Winger Gareth Bale has been virtually unplayable for Tottenham recently. The past eight days have seen Liverpool's Martin Skrtel and Wigan's Steve Gohouri both shown red cards for trying to halt the Welshman’s influence on games illegally. The only surprise was Bale’s goal at the weekend, which turned out to be the deciding goal against Wigan, was a well taken header instead of the spectacular strikes we're are getting used to seeing from him.

Forward: Robin van Persie (Arsenal)

Arsenal's new Barclays Premier League season so far has read like a bad TV soap opera script. However, the Gunners might just have the man they need in Robin van Persie to turn their fortunes around and bring stability to the club. His brace at the weekend helped Arsenal rout Bolton 3-0 and allowed him to notch up 100 goals for the North London outfit.

Forward: Demba Ba (Newcastle United)

Demba Ba announced himself to Newcastle United fans with a superb hat-trick to condemn Blackburn Rovers to a 3-1 defeat at the weekend. The 26-year-old Senegal international, who scored seven goals in 12 Premier League appearances for West Ham last season, ensured the Magpies' unbeaten start to the campaign stretched to eight games in all competitions.

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